Being born with a penis is not enough to be defined as a real man in our society. No, men are supposed to be strong, angry and emotionless pillars of support. The weight of these toxic expectations bends a man’s will into following the footsteps that are expected of him, not wanted by him. Here are some of those expectations that define mardaangi in our society that we really need to get rid of.
1. A man’s income means more than his character
Everyone might have noticed how a man who makes a lot of money is respected more in our society. I believe this mentality to be immature. No amount of money can make you a real man, only one’s actions and morals can.
Stop drilling the idea into the heads of people that men’s pockets are to be looked at first and foremost. Money is important, yes. It’s not everything, though.
2. Men can’t be depressed
The Almighty has bestowed pretty much everyone with emotions. Life brings everyone down and I believe it’s perfectly okay to break down and cry every now and then. We can’t overlook the fact that men do get depressed too. Their mental health is also important.
3. Men must aspire for “respectable” professions
If a man wants to become a model, photographer, choreographer or a makeup artist, bhai, khud socho. Think of the backlash. No one considers how a person’s career directly influences his happiness. No, sab ko parhi hai ke saarey doctor ya engineer banein. Stop thwarting men and their creativity, yaar.
4. Men HAVE to wear certain kinds of clothes only
If a man wears pink or a traditionally “feminine” color, he’s ridiculed and mocked relentlessly. Not all men have the same tolerance to these insults. I have seen so many people literally never wearing the same clothes again because they were bullied for wearing them. I’ve noticed their awkward smiles in the face of society’s insults.
Hadh hai yaar. Kapron pe bhi?
5. A man HAS to control his wife instead of being a “joru ka ghulam”
If a man takes extra care of his wife or lets her boss him around, he is ridiculed by his friends and family. ‘Oye tu kaisa mard ha? Biwi control tak nae hoti tujh seh’.
A marriage is all about equality, people. It’s not aa competition between a husband and wife. Koi game nahi hai yaar. Grow up.
6. Men have to look a certain, “masculine” way
If you have long hair, or you’re thin and petite, you’re called a girl (like it’s supposed to be an insult?) Men are body shamed too. They’re expected to look a certain way, to have a societally approved “masculine” look. We have to remember that men can be body shamed as well. I was a skinny teenager, and trust me – these insults do cause anxiety and depression.
7. Defining a man’s honor
No man’s honor is tied to that of the women in his life. A man’s honor, self-respect and self-worth are all in his own hands. We can’t keep inculcating the mindset that ties another human being’s life to a man’s ego and sense of self. That’s extremely toxic – for everyone in that scenario. And yes, the patriarchy is to blame for this. But society cannot keep furthering these notions.
8. Does he have a son to carry his legacy?
A man who does not have a son does not need to keep trying to save his legacy. Who came up with this concept, anyway? Blood is blood, regardless of the sex of the child. It’s a ridiculous notion that needs to be done way with.
9. Introvert or extrovert?
‘Ghar bethne ka shauq sirf larkia rakhti hain’. Society never understands why a person likes to stay at home. Maybe its anxiety or a health issue, but who cares about mental health, right?
10. Mard kabhi rotay nahi.
I mean why not? This makes no sense. Suppressing your feelings only means that you’re heading for a mental breakdown soon enough. This is one of the reasons why men in our society yell and scream rather than deal with their emotions logically.
11. Men can’t be harassed.
It’s hard for men to admit or even report harassment in our society. Because people either don’t believe them and even if they do, they ridicule them. They say things like ‘you probably enjoyed it’ or that ‘men can’t be raped, silly’. I mean, rather than helping that person, our society breaks down that man completely.
12. Men have to have “masculine” hobbies
Cooking, knitting, cleaning, baking, – all these hobbies are considered highly attractive in most countries around the world except in Pakistan, where they are considered to be too “feminine,” as if that’s a bad thing. Let people have hobbies.
13. Mard kabhi darte nahi.
Even lions feel fear, then why can’t men be afraid? These high expectations result in the poor self-esteem we see in our people today. Men do get scared and that’s completely okay. Fear is natural.
In a nutshell, what does society gain from this? All this lack of acceptance only leads to a lot of rage or worse, depression. Let people live in peace.
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Cover image via babycenter.com